Extracurriculars and "Passion"

<p>I'm involved in several extracurriculars, which are listed below, and I love all of them. The problem is, I'm not sure if my "passion" stands out. I've been reading College Confidential for awhile and I know that one of the top recommendations when it comes to ECs is to make sure you display your passion. Should I exclude some ECs when I apply, or should I maybe have my essay center around how all of these are related and make up who I am? Should I consider picking up more ECs to balance out my app? I'm looking to convey a passion of leadership and service, which is something that I do feel I have. I am in the graduating HS class of 2012</p>

<p>Here are my ECs:</p>

<p>UIL (several first place awards in Journalism and Current Events)
School Newspaper Editor
Yearbook
Student Council (officer - hopefully continue the presidency tradition and become Student Body president for my senior year)
Sophomore Class President
Junior Class President
United Way Youth Leadership Cabinet
Key Club (Editor, hopefully another officer position, maybe President, my Sr. year)
National Honor Society (looking to have a leadership role my Sr year when I am allowed to run)
FCA
YoungLife
Blue Crew (school spirit organization)
Summer volunteer at Project Unity (local food pantry and charity)
Summer volunteer at the Food Bank
Volunteer for Elder Aid (organization for assisting the elderly)
First Place at the Global Issues Conference at Texas A&M University
Writer for Macworld.com
Started my own web design/photography company, working for several clients in town</p>

<p>I've also started several projects for these organizations, such as a (now annual) benefit concert for the United Way and a few other projects. </p>

<p>How do my ECs stack up for Yale? How do I present myself and my ECs to demonstrate my passion for leadership and service? I'm looking to go into law and I'm wondering if my Journalism awards and work could detract from my law and service aspirations. Any advice you can offer would be fantastic!!</p>

<p>Tie it all together in your essays. I don't think your passion needs to be like, one thing... That's the most misleading thing about the concept of a "passion." It isn't like, "oh, Paul is the best at X." (Though, of course, there are some people who truly excel at one thing and this is perfectly fine.) It's more... "Paul really cares about X, Y, and Z, and all of them contribute to making him the way he is. He wouldn't be the same without them." I mean, I have around three "passions" and that didn't pose much of a hindrance for me...</p>

<p>Thanks! Do I need to be able to apply all of them into one plan? Like how all of these contribute to my life goals and aspirations?</p>

<p>Don't feel compelled to write your essay about your 'passion'. I mean it's fine if your do but i think that the main purpose of the essays is to show the adcoms who you are, which doesn't entirely mean only write about what you do. My common app essay was about how I learned to embrace my heritage through cooking and my sturggle with it before. And my second essay was about an embarrassing moment I went through.</p>

<p>I agree. Your essay can be just as powerful if you instead capture a significant moment in your life, let your emotions loose and just choose a really defining moment. Easier said than done...I know.</p>

<p>Awesome - thank you to you both. I'm just not sure that I have any of those significant moments. I've got a while before I need to start writing my essay though, so I'm definitely going to be mulling over possible topics.</p>

<p>Yeah, the above posters are right... I kind of think that essays that reveal your character tend to somehow complement your "passions" (how I hate that word...). It all paints one clear, convincing picture. Just go with what feels right, I suppose. I wrote about one of my passions which ties into my childhood and my outlook on the world. I don't think I'd think or be the same without it. So it depends on how intricately tied what you do is to who you are...</p>

<p>But yeah, one of my essays was (sort of) about how much I hate Walden by Thoreau, so I fully acknowledge that you don't need to write about your passions to write acceptable essays.</p>

<p>If I may: I think one of my two essays was definitely stronger than the other. I wrote about how I betrayed a friend's secret and how I had to repair the damage. Simple, not bombastic. Just sincere and definitely a meaningful event in my 17 year old life.</p>

<p>Thanks so much for the help! Do any of you think that my ECs are strong enough for Yale?</p>

<p>Your ECs are fine. As for your struggle with "passion" you might just want to talk about your drive and how, despite what others might say, you chase whatever activities make you happy and bring fulfillment in your life.</p>